Rolling Stone shrinks format

Magazine switches to standard size Oct. 30

Rolling Stone magazine is reducing its trim size to the industry standard 8 by 11 inches. The new format will debut with the Oct. 30 issue, which will be released this week.

Unlike in many other cases, Rolling Stone’s switch does not appear to be designed with paper savings in mind, as the mag has announced that it will add pages to compensate for the smaller size and use a heavier paper stock going forward. Rolling Stone’s new conventional dimensions will presumably allow it better placement in newsstand racks.

The mag’s ad rates will also remain the same even as the size shrinks.

Rolling Stone, which began in 1967 as a black-and-white newsprint tabloid, went four-color in 1973. It switched to a glossy magazine stock in 1981 while reducing to a 10- by 12-inch format.

The last edition at that size featured Republican presidential nominee John McCain on the cover, while the Oct. 30 edition boasts Democrat Barack Obama.

“We embrace the idea of change,” writes editor Jann Wenner in the new issue. “Not change for the sake of change, but change as evolution and growth and renewal, change as the kind of cultural renaissance that gave birth to Rolling Stone more than four decades ago.”